‘The Thunders’ with Azim Lakhani


The Thunders

LtoR Anjum (drums), Azim Lakhani (lead guitar), Ajmal Khan (bass), Shahid Habib (rhythm) – photograph courtesy Azim Lakhani

It was in the late 50’s when someone owed my brother Rs 25, so in exchange he brought home a ūüéł guitar.¬† I was 15, looked at it and instantly became quite fascinated, however, it had only one string.¬† At the time there was a musical instrument store that recently opened on Tariq Road called ‘Wood and Tone’; so I went there and asked them to fix it. When it arrived home after being fixed and tuned, I began strumming it with little knowledge of how it was played other than watching Elvis strumming it in the movies.¬† Eventually my¬†friend and Co-founder Shahid Habib¬†and I figured out how to play tunes by ear and hence ‘Thunders” came into being.
With dedication and practice we both perfected our guitar playing skills and was joined by now Dr Ajmal Khan on bass.¬†¬†Shahid loved playing rhythm and surprisingly I was a natural drummer, but somehow ended up playing lead –¬† I loved it!¬† We didn’t have professional instruments and didn’t know how to raise money.¬† A good soul introduced us to Anjum Karim, whose father owned the H M silk mills. We became friends, and he financed our group, with one caveat that he’ll play drums, it was a no brainer.
The Thunders

The Thunders – Shahid, Ajmal, Azmut, Anjum, Azim

After our instruments arrived from Germany, we realised that he only wanted to impress girls, but had no real talent musically.¬† So we hired, the late great Sidney D’Souza to teach him (which was in vain).¬† Finally, we decided to go ahead with our plans to play with Sidney as our drummer.¬† Man we sounded good…. suffice to say we were the ‘first’ band in Karachi with Muslim musicians.¬† We were then joined by the late Azmut Butt as our drummer and lead singer. Our main genre was instrumental music as ours was the era of The Shadows, The Ventures etc. – the craze of the day.
We were quite established as a band and played often for Lahore And Pindi TV; scored the theme music for ‘Aurat aur Zamana’ and¬†even bagged the opportunity to act and perform in the movie.¬† We were invited to play in Murree and Dacca (East Pakistan).
The highlight of our endeavours came in 1967, when the battle of the bands took place at the Navy Fleet Club. It was the first of its kind and tons of people came out to support the event; standing room only with an overflow of folks who couldn’t get in. What an experience.¬† Never duplicated ever…
Morning News gave us the thumbs up as the best instrumental group.  There were other greats, like The Bugs, but they were more into singing and harmony as they were trying to emulate the Beatles who had burst into the music scene.
The Thunders

The Thunders playing at the Arts Council – photograph courtesy Azim Lakhani

In addition, we were the featured live band at the Metropole Hotel disco and at the jam sessions at the Beach Luxury hotel.¬† We also played¬†at all the major venues and clubs, like KPI, KGA, St Joseph’s, PECHS girls school to name a few.


Note from the Editor:
In 1967, the first ever pop music concert ‘Battle of the Bands’ took place at the Navy Fleet Club. ¬†This was the brain child of late Perveiz ‘mod’ Ayub.¬† The theatre had an 800 seat capacity but over a 1000 folks turned up; standing room only.

Original Flyer

The Sounds Incorporated Organizers and Committee – 1967

Six bands were invited to perform and at the time two were very popular: Thunders and The Bugs. ¬†Both bands had a huge following which added to the electric atmosphere and most folks just wanted to witness who was going to be considered ‘the best’ . ¬†There was a lot of noise, screaming and then some great entertainment.¬† Azim reminisces,

“Even after all these years it still sends goose bumps; folks still talk about that evening. ¬† At the end, suffice to say,¬† all of us individually and collectively were talented and all of our performances were enhanced by the ambience of the crowd.¬† ¬†After all these years we are all still friends… even today.”

Set List
Set List of event organized by The Sounds Incorporated

The bands performing that evening were The Mods, The Loving Kind, The Blitz, The Bugs, The Thunders and The Fore Thoughts.


The Xavier Sisters ~ by Bosco D’souza


BOAC Speedbird House Airport

A few pictures of The Xavier Sisters during their musical career in Pakistan which began in 1966 and ended in 1975.



Pop Festival 1971



The Shalimar – Lahore

They performed mainly in Karachi at various venues, but also played in Lahore, Islamabad, Daharki, and were the first Karachi band to have an out-of-country contract (Teheran) in 1969.

Goethe Institute



The Grand Hotel

During their career span, one of the sisters took a two-year hiatus to pursue further studies abroad, hence some pictures show just four of the five sisters.

The Metropole Garden


PAF Officers Mess, Mauripur


In 1972, towards the latter part of their musical career, the sisters started to emigrate one at a time.  Male musician friends replaced them until in 1975 when they finally disbanded as the rest of the family emigrated to Canada.

PAF Officers Mess, Mauripur


Our LMK Co-Founders Sabby Patrick and Bosco D’souza met up with two of the sisters recently in Canada.


Sabby (Blackjacks), Jennifer (Xavier Sisters), Bosco(Black Jacks) and Brenda (Xavier Sisters)

Bug Buddies ~ by Syed Javed Sadiq


Jimmy Jamshaid and Atiq Rehman

We studied at St. Paul’s High School in Karachi from where the first pop band of the 60s ‘The Bugs’ originated from.

Most musicians then were self taught as was Atiq… banging away on desks, tables ‘n’ tin plates as cymbals.

It was a lively era…easy-going n comfy with all ethnicities. ¬†Clubs abounded…every Saturday was a party night. ¬†The youth was appreciative… all out for a bit of fun n frolic. ¬†And these islands of cultural diaspora nurtured and turned into pro fledgling bands.

Atiq was certainly among the better known percussionists… with his ever endearing smile n demeanor. ¬†Moon Glows did their ditty at the Karachi Gymkhana while the then relatively recent band the Incrowd ruled the roost among the young vibrant music ‘luvers’ inspired by lyrics of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendricks, Bob Dylan; the emerging Afro-American music like Santana, Rare Earth, Osibisa, Boney M, and yes, the reggae legend Bob Marley.

Arif Bharoocha

~ Coutesy Spittaman Petigara

There are some people that we are truly thankful for and in my case I have to thank Fali Cooper and his family for all the support and help they have given me through the years.

I started my music career in 1967 and can quite honestly say that our first band could not play very well.¬† I also needed to develop my own skills as a musician and thus dedicated three months of learning with my uncle.¬† I then got hold of a few guys and started a band called ‘The Abstracts‚Äô.


‘The Abstracts’ above L-R we¬†have Mumdu, Arif Obaid, myself and Thaddeus D. Pinto.

The Abstracts

The Abstracts ~ Photographs contributed by Saddiq M. Artwork by ldg


In¬†1971 I met Fali Cooper and that‚Äôs when we started a new band and got quite popular in the entertainment business.¬† Our biggest supporter was Fali‚Äôs father and so we dedicated the name of the band to him and called ourselves ‚ÄėDad‚Äôs Gratitude‚Äô. ¬†¬†The line-up was Saleem Akhtar, Rizwan Fancy, Fali Cooper, Richie and myself.


In the photograph above L-R we have Saleem Akhtar, Rizwan Fancy, Fali Cooper and myself.

Dad's Gratitude

For more on Dad’s Gratitude click on the following link: https://lmkonline.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/dads-gratitude-of-the-70s/


Whilst performing with Dad’s Gratitude and even before that I was playing session music for tv, radio, films and background music.  I also played solo and had a band with Aamir Zaki.  I’ve played with so many musicians, too many to mention.

I also played for a Jazz and a French band.  Spittaman, Farhad and myself also played for quite a while.  A three piece band with Hillary (RIP), Denise and myself.

Apart from all the live music I was also teaching at Yamaha for many years and some of my students are playing professionally abroad.  It makes me so happy to see them all successful.

And Yes indeed Dad’s Gratitude was the best band that I played for!   I also played with Gerard and Malcolm at the Marriott.  It was an all acoustic with no amplification which was a very interesting experience for me.


In the photograph above L-R we have myself, Malcolm Goveas and Gerard Vanderlowen

Finally I have to thank Spittaman for introducing me to a school that I am working at and enjoying every moment of it.


Tribute to Melvin Clements ~ by Alison Pereira


Melvin Clements

Never have I met a person who was so passionate, humble and had a smile wider than the horizon the way Melvin Clements did.

He was a true source of inspiration for many of us out there from all walks of life.

Despite the battle he waged with his health on a daily basis, he managed to maintain the strongest, brightest and motivational persona I have ever seen to date.

Melvin Clements

Our community has not just lost one of the finest, most passionate vocalist and¬†musician who kept our hearts alive at concerts and weddings but the world has lost one of it’s rarest, most talented individuals that have walked this planet.

As David Bowie once sang..

“I’m not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with potential of a superman. I’m living on.”

Melvin! my friend, my brother rest in peace. Your journey on earth may have come to an end a bit too soon but it’s just the beginning for you now in the afterlife.

You’re not gone but you’re always going to live on, In our hearts and minds forever. ~ Alison Pereira


We would like to say a special ‘thank you’ to Alison for allowing us to share his beautiful tribute¬†on our LMK website.

We have received many posts on our FB forum which we are sharing below.

Melvin you are truly loved and missed by all!

The funeral mass will take place on Thursday February 11, 2016 at Our Lady of Fatima Parish at 3:00 pm.
Melvin Clements

Maxwell Dias ~ This is really very sad. A young talented boy. Will be missed by all of us. May he rest in peace. Amen.

¬†Allan Smith¬†~¬†So sad what a great kid and amazing soul. May God give him the music of heaven’s R.I.P


Atiq Rehman ~ Oh my god what happened I just talk to him a about 2 months ago may his soul rest in peace

Thank you Imran Ahmed for sharing this video.
‘Crazy’ ~ Melvin Clements on vocals for Project X

Arthur Kanaria ~ My deepest condolences to his entire family. I last saw him in Feb 2015 and will never forget his infectious smile. Melvin you will make heaven smile with your presence! Rest in peace my young brother
Eric Dsilva¬†~¬†RIP my brother..No more pain. I can’t stop singing ‘Gola Ganda’ after hearing it for the first time…you will always be remembered bro. And, thanks for looking after and over my Pop…take care, we love you.
Syed Azhar Ali ~ Rest in peace my dear friend Melvin!!

Brian Correa ~ Extending heartfelt condolences to the family at this difficult time. Rest in Peace Melvin.

Menin Rodrigues¬†~¬†A passionate musician to the core…you shared your God-given talent with everyone! RIP

Ali Tim ~ RIP Melvin .You will always be missed .


Natasha De Sousa ~ Melvin is a precious soul… a humble talented boy with a smile that touched and warmed the hearts of many. May your soul rejoice in the heavens….. may the angels join you in your songs….. You will live in our hearts forever. Thank you for the gifts and talents you shared with us all. Shine on forever dear one.


Kevin Mendonca¬†~¬†Oh No that’s very very tragic I met him just last year at Shaun and Veronica wedding, he came up and sang a few songs with Max and the boys, our deepest sympathies to the Clement Family

Konpal Abdullah Pti ~ My deepest condolences to his entire family. Melvin you will make heaven smile with your presence! Rest in peace my friend.

 Melvin Clements

Samantha John ~ Oh God it is the saddest news ..I still cant forget ur ever smiling face when i saw u last ..Melvin Clements Rest in peace

Mishmah Fazal ~ This is really sad. Saw him perform just once and was absolutely amazed. Sympathies with the family.


Joe Fernandes ~ Smiling always inspite of all the pain


Llewelyn D’Souza¬†~¬†Your smile graced every stage and your music was a true reflection of a star may your soul rest in peace and deepest condolences to the family


Shaleem Mall¬†~¬†such a sad news Melvin Clements you will be missed a lot…
Selwyn Gerald Fernandes ~ Rest in peace, brother


Steve Judd ~ May his soul rest in peace


Faraz Haider ~ sad news indeed. My deepest sympathies to the family.


Melvin Clements

Dominic D’Souza¬†~¬†Very sad news… My Deepest condolences to the family.

Sameera Ehteram ~ God that is utterly sad. May he rest in eternal peace.

Zebunnisa Bangash  ~ Tragic. Prayers for the family and the departed soul. May he rest in Peace.

Theresa Rodrigues ~ May his soul rest in peace. Amen.

Charlotte Desouza ~ Thats sad. May his soul rest in peace. He will now play his music and sing with the Lord.

Amy Barrell ~ Very sad news. May his soul rest in peace.

Faiza Tauseef Siddiqui ~ May his soul rest in peace. This is a devastating news.

Melvin Clements

John Travas
 ~ Rest in Peace, Melu.  You will be missed by everyone.
Sheldon Fernandes ~ Rest in Peace Melu.. you are in a better place..
Danny Dhalla ~ RIP
Stanley D’Souza¬†~¬†Rest in peace Melvin Clements
Neil Araujo ~ RIP bro
Perpetual Rodrigues ~ Rest in Peace.Amen.
Joanita Monteiro¬†~¬†Melu you will be missed tremendously. May your soul R.I.P…Amen
Samar Salim¬†~¬†Sad news …. RIP
Anthony Decosta ~ RIP.Amen
Maleeha Ahmad Qureshi ~ Heartfelt condolences. RIP. AMEN.
Melvin Clements

Clare Dsouza ~ May his soul Rest in peace. Amen.


Kevin Nash ~ No words!!!! Rip little brother. Till we meet again


Franklin Brooks¬†~¬†Melu ” missed u dear,,!!! RIP


Lynette Dias Gouveia ~ Really really saddened by this news. Deepest condolences to the family. Ashley Clements thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.


Kenneth Anthony ~ Deepest Condolences to the family. May his soul RIP.


Clara Lidwina D’souza Very Sad, May our Lord bless and comfort the family during this time of grief. Please accept our sincere condolences. May his soul rest in peace Amen.

Clara Lidwina D'souza's photo.

Carol Francis ~ Sad newz may his soul rest in peace

Fiona Arthur F’dez¬†~¬†RIP

Khalid Khan ~ Very sad news. May his soul rest in peace

Elvina Kurup¬†~¬†Very sad news indeed….Rest in peace cousin ..

Aurangzaib Xaib ~ RIP

Erum Ikram ~ RIP

Zain Anwar ~ Indeed a sad day! RIP

Lourdes Rebello ~ May his soul rest in peace. Amen.

Micheal Pacheco ~ RIP

Sahreen Chauhan¬†~¬†RIP. Amen. ……

Inam Nabi ~ may he rest in peace

Melvin Clements
Joshua Henry Liong~ May he Rest in Peace 
Samina Aslam ~ rest in peace melvin

Iffat Inam ~ Oh so sad.RIP.

Berna Dias ~ Sad .Rest in peace .

Tessa John-vazir ~ Terribly sad. RIP dear Melvin.

Sohaib Lari ~ RIP

Christopher Michael¬† ~¬†RIP…

Mian Shaukat Hussain ~ May his soul rest in Peace! Amen

Selwyn Maverick Victor ~ Very sad. May his soul rest in peace. Amen.

Rehan Lakhani ~ Sad news may his soul rest in peace

Malcolm Ronald Joseph ~ May his soul rest in Peace! Amen

Ambrose Richard Dias ~ Truly disheartening news. You will be missed, man. Rest in peace.

Duane Castellino ~ R.i.P

Waqar Zaidi ~ Very sad indeed,may his soul rest in peace!

Gary Frances ~ Eternal light shine upon him dear Goad, and may he rest in peace.

Pervez M Quadir ~ Rest in Peace

George Amanat JD ~ R.I.P

Sebastian Ambrose Lobo ~ May his soul RIP

Angeline Francis ~ May his soul rest in peace. Amen

Majid Lotia ~ R.I.P

Arif Abid ~ R.I.P.

Ehsan Shahid Anam¬†~¬†RIP…its always sad to lose someone so young.
Pray the Lord to give strength to his loved ones to bear this untimely loss.
Kamran Farooque¬†~¬†sad news… i heard an hour ago… May his soul rest in peace…
condolences to the family…

Jennifer Dsouza ~ RIP

Melvin Clements

Douglas D’sa¬†~¬†RIP

Iona Oscar-few Seldow ~ RIP Melvin

Clare Joseph¬†~¬†May God soul Rest In Peace. May God give Melvin’s family courage to bear this irrepairable loss. Amen

Andy Fdz ~ Gonna miss you rip my friend

Ronnie Anthony ~ RIP Melvin ..

Louiza M Davies ~ A rockstar

Terence Fernandes ~ My deepest sympathies to the family.
May his soul rest in peace . Amen

Lourdes Rebello ~ May his soul rest in peace amen

Charles Suares ~ RIP Melvin !!!

Bella N Tony Fernandes ~ A Beautiful person rest in peace

Richie D’Souza¬†~¬†Sorry to hear the sad news. My condolences to the family. May he rest in peace.

Marshall Fernandes ~ Condolences to the family.
May his soul rest in peace. Amen

Wayne Croning ~ RIP
Fawzi Lutfi ~ RIP
Melvin on Darbuka

Letter From Dominic Gonsalves ~ January 4, 2012

Dominic Gonsalves

A letter from Mr. Dominic Gonsalves to Menin Rodrigues.  

Regarding information not being accurately recorded in a few published articles.


January 4, 2012

Hi Menin! First of all I would like to wish you Happy New Year 2012.  I had great pleasure reading about the Goans in Pakistan and their contribution to the country.  It is indeed an awesome effort on your part to research the vast areas in which Goans have made a contribution and to honour them by making mention of their names on your site.
My email in particular refers to the section music and bands as I have made note of a few discrepancies that I came across. My aim is for you to have the correct information irrespective of whether it gets corrected or not.
Firstly, that my good friend the late Alex Rodrigues a great musician was never associated with either Alamgir or Sheikhi.
I first started playing with Alamgir in the early 70’s and featured regularly on PTV’s Sunday Ke Sunday and Jhankar. ¬†Later on I decided to play for Sheikhi too on a regular basis helping him out with a few compositions. ¬†If you would like to confirm that fact I would be more than happy to provide you with the contact numbers of both those artists.
Secondly, the late Felix Carvalho also a good friend of mine and a brilliant musician was never associated with Alamgir. The fact of the matter is that Felix who also played in my band was not into eastern music.  For your information I was the first Goan to be employed (full time) by Radio Pakistan as Music Director (worked for 35 years) and Pakistan Television as a session musician as I am well versed in both Western and Eastern music.
Dominic Gonsalves
I was also the first Goan to appear in a feature film “Dhamaka” in 1974 (opening scene with band on stage) starring Javed Sheikh. I also had the pleasure of playing along with Paul Gonsalves and The Duke Ellington Orchestra¬†and Dave Brubeck Quartet. ¬†This was also misreported in Kaleem Omar’s article (Nobody in Karachi whistles anymore) published in 2006.
I was employed by Metropole Hotel at the time. I am now 84 years old and my memory is as good as ever. I migrated to Australia in 2005 and was a bit disappointed when I read that article online. I have tried to get the contact details of Kaleem Omar but have been unsuccessful. If by any chance you have his contact details please forward that to me so that I can clarify the matter.
 Dominic Gonsalves
I still play the sax with the U3A (University of the Third Age) in Melbourne and jammed up with Don Burrows in Sydney a few years ago. I hope the information that I have provided you gives you more insight into the musical history of Pakistan.
If I can be of any help and if you need further clarification on the above matters please don’t hesitate to contact me via email or Facebook (Don Gonsalves)